Caroline is the creator and editor of Swaddles n’ Bottles. She is a mama to two little girls and wife to one amazing husband.
If you are a new or expectant mama who has spent any amount of time on Pinterest, chances are you have seen the “breastfeeding basket” posts with a lists of the must haves.
While I have definitely been one of those women who has created a basket filled with all the must-have products, I’m here to show you how you can go beyond the basket; how you can set up the optimal breastfeeding station to make life with a newborn easier.
The Glider or Rocker
It all starts with a comfortable and practical rocker. If possible, sit in the rocker before purchasing and take it for a test drive. If you have to purchase online, keep an eye out for some of the qualities that make it easier to breastfeed: high back, thick arm rests (so you are able to set things on them) and a wide seat.
Also, we’ve had our fair share of spit ups and spills on both of our gliders. A fabric that is easy to clean is a must.
Try to place your breastfeeding station in an area that works best for you any baby. Avoid being in the direct path of your AC vent to avoid baby (and mama) getting too cold.
If possible, try to have your glider placed next to a dresser or side table for extra easy access storage. A breastfeeding basket filled with essentials is much easier to access at arm height versus on the floor.
I also like to have my phone charger close by, so access to an outlet is a must. Also, I purchased these 10 ft. iPhone chargers prior to pack in my hospital bag for Nora (there are never any outlets close to the recovery bed in the hospital!) and I have become so dependent on them! I simply clipped it to the edge of the glider for easy access. (read the full post on everything in my hospital bag the second time around here.)
Having the outlet close by also gives you the option for a nightlight for those 2 A.M. (and 4 A.M., and 6 A.M…..) feedings.
Baby Tracker- Download Button Below Photo!
What I would have given to have one of these with Emmy! The second time around, my husband and I knew that keeping track of the details in terms of when baby ate last, what side and if she had enough wet and/or dirty diapers were difficult to keep track of in our sleep deprived state. So, I created a baby tracker! You can print it out, place it in a frame and use a dry erase maker to write on it!
The Basket and Other Essentials
I like to keep a blanket close by for baby and always have our My Breast Friend close by. If you’ve read the Nursing Your Newborn post, you know how much I prefer the My Breast Friend over a Boppy for breastfeeding (although I LOVE the Boppy for tummy time and assisted sitting).
Now, let’s talk about the basket. Starting with a few things you DON’T need.
Entertainment such as books, magazines or pen and pencil are not needed. First of all, you won’t have the extra hands or lap space to devote to it. Secondly, focus on what’s most important in those moments: making sure baby is comfortable, latched properly and showing your signs that they are eating well.
Baby toys and rattles are also not needed. In those early days, both you AND baby are learning the ropes to this whole breastfeeding thing and extra distractions won’t help him or her get the hang of it.
Now let’s chat about what you do need.
- Water bottle. This is first on the list for SO MANY REASONS! A breastfeeding mama needs to stay hydrated. The more water you drink, the more milk you make.
- Burp Clothes
- Baby Wipes- I use them to keep baby awake when she keeps falling asleep at the breast. More on that here.
- Blanket for baby
- Nursing Pads- Replace at each feed while you are still leaking.
- Snacks. Because you always seem to get hungry as soon as you sit down to nurse
- Nipple Cream. You won’t need this for too long as soreness should go away within the first few weeks. This is why I like A+D ointment. It doubles as diaper rash cream later on.
- Hair ties. There is something about a fist full of moms hair that babies just love.
- Let There Be Milk. If you’ve read any other post on this blog, you know I am obsessed with this stuff. It tastes like a tree but is the MOST effective supplement I have found to keep my milk supply up. And I’ve tried a lot. Full post on that here.
- Optional: Binky, Chapstick… these are just things I’ve found I like to have close by. Add whatever works for you!
Next up, read the guide to 5 things you should to in baby’s first 24 hours to promote breastfeeding success:
You can also check out these other breastfeeding articles on Swaddles n’ Bottles: